| NON-REPATRIATED SOLDIERS' MONUMENT |
Forest View Cemetery
Winsted in Winchester, CT
Type: Granite base, dado, and sphere
Height: Approximately 13'
NON-REPATRIATED SOLDIERS' MONUMENT, Winsted in Winchester, is significant historically because it is a symbol of the honor and respect tendered by the state and the community to Winchester men who died in Civil War service. In addition, the inscription's emphasis on place of burial, to wit that the bodies of the soldiers named on this monument were not repatriated to their hometown, is unusual.
The only historical reference to come to hand on this monument is a one-line comment in De Mars that the monument was erected in the veterans' burial plot in Forest View Cemetery in 1900 (p. 121). The inference is that veterans were buried there before 1900. What motivated the monument, in 1900, to those not buried there is unknown. The incident raises many questions about what was customary in the matter of returning bodies of those who died or were killed during the war. In general, in cemeteries throughout the state, the rows of graves appear to be mostly for veterans who died after the war, suggesting that non-repatriation was common. For another memorial concerned with this issue, see CIVIL WAR MONUMENT, West Hartford.
NON-REPATRIATED SOLDIERS' MONUMENT, Winsted in Winchester, is significant artistically because it is a fine example of stonecarving. Regrettably, no information has come to hand on the designer or fabricator. The dark gray color of the granite and the location of Winsted close to the Massachusetts line suggest a Massachusetts source.
Corner piers of the plot are miniature versions of the monument, having similar pyramidal shape and the same scheme of volutes to hold the sphere finials. Such comprehensive attention to planning details is unusual. (See also SOLDIERS AND SAILORS MONUMENT, West Haven.)
Shields and seals of the monument are nicely carved, as are the stars, laurel leaves, and volutes. Tooled margins of the plinth, coved cornice, embellished cross gables, and accompanying moldings are well done.
NON-REPATRIATED SOLDIERS' MONUMENT, Winsted in Winchester, faces south at the top of a rise in 29-acre Forest View Cemetery, just southeast of downtown Winsted in Winchester. It is surrounded by soldiers' graves laid out in four rows of seven, marked by the typical marble segmental-topped stones with lettering of incised caps. The 40' x 40' veterans' burial plot is defined by a pier at each corner. The piers are 18" square by 38" high shaped as two-stage quarry-finished granite pyramids, designed to support sphere finials. One sphere is still in place.
The monument consists of stepped base, dado or die, pyramidal top, and large sphere finial, all in a dark gray granite of the hue associated with central Massachusetts quarries such as Munson. The plinth is quarry-faced with tooled margin. In the two-stage smooth pedestal base, the year dates recorded below occupy the first stage. At the second stage a central medallion is formed by the Seal of the United States raised in a recessed circle in front of crossed flags.
The bottom of the die is 40" square, one-half the measurement of the plinth, which is 80" square. The die is slightly tapered. On the south face the Seal of Connecticut is prominent near the top of the lettering recorded below. At the top a star is flanked by laurel and the cove of the cornice is decorated with rosettes. The pyramidal top has a cross gable with raised letters PRO PATRIA surrounded by foliage in the gable end. Half-way up the pyramid is a band of stars. At the top of the pyramid volutes hold the polished sphere. The volutes are separated by inverted shells.
On the east face the central shield at the bottom is blank, while raised crossed rifles replace PRO PATRIA in the gable end. On the north crossed cannon are in the central shield, an anchor in the gable. On the west the shield is blank and crossed swords are in the gable.
For another memorial consisting of pedestal and sphere see SOLDIERS AND SAILORS MONUMENT, West Haven.
Front (south) face of base, raised polished numbers in recessed panel:1861 -1865
Above, front of die, caps incised in polished surface:ERECTED BY THE
STATE OF CONNECTICUT
(Seal of Connecticut)
AND CITIZENS OF THE TOWN,
IN MEMORY OF
OR WERE KILLED IN THE
WAR OF THE REBELLION,
AND WHOSE BODIES
WERE NOT BROUGHT HOME
Gable above, raised polished caps:PRO PATRIA
East face of die, incised in polished surface:(21 names with company and regiment)
North:RESIDENTS OF WINCHESTER
WHOSE SERVICES WERE CREDITED
TO OTHER TOWNS
BODIES NOT BROUGHT HOME
(10 names with company and regiment)
West:(22 names with company and regiment)
Frank H. De Mars and Elliott P. Bronson, Winsted and the Town of Winchester (Winsted, 1972), p. 121.